Jobs Data Revives Wall Street’s Hopes for a Rate Cut

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from The New York Times,

Just as Wall Street appeared to come to terms with the idea of high interest rates sticking around for longer, a cooler-than-expected jobs report on Friday brought the idea of rate cuts back into the conversation.

The Labor Department reported that job and wage growth in April came in lower than economists had expected, a shift after months of piping-hot labor market reports. The findings rekindled hopes that the Federal Reserve — which has been looking for signs that interest rates are slowing the economy — may yet cut rates before the end of the year.

“This is the jobs report the Fed would have scripted,” said Seema Shah, chief global strategist at Principal Asset Management.

The S&P 500 rose 1.3 percent on Friday, its best day in more than two months. The Russell 2000 index of smaller companies that are more sensitive to the ebb and flow of the economy also rose, up 1 percent for the day and also on course to rise for a second consecutive week.

Stock investors are sensitive to rapid changes in interest rates, and the two-year Treasury yield tumbled from over 5 percent on Tuesday to 4.8 percent on Friday, a big move in a market that is typically measured in hundredths of a percentage point.

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